It has been revealed that disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong will be asked by the International Olympic Committee, to hand back his Olympic medal once his confession of doping is broadcast later this week.
shamed icon will be written to by the IOC after telling TV show queen Oprah Winfrey
that, despite years of denials, his seven Tour de France titles were
fuelled by illegal stimulants - an admission that prompted the world's
leading crusader against drugs in sport to question cycling's place in
the Olympic Games.
It is understood that the IOC would
see the expulsion of such a prominent Olympic sport as a last resort
despite claims that Armstrong bribed the UCI.
The retention of Olympic cycling
would suit British interests given that the country won 26 medals in the
sport in the last two Games combined.
The IOC are, however, minded to move
against Armstrong at speed, only delaying taking away the timetrial
bronze he won at Sydney 2000 until the interview is broadcast.
IOC member and the former
head of the World Anti- Doping Agency, Dick Pound, said if the governing
International Cycling Union (UCI) are complicit in Armstrong's doping
offences, 'the only way they are going to clean up is if all these
people say, "Hey, we're no longer in the Olympics and that's where we
want to be so let's earn our way back into it".
'The IOC would have to deal with it.
The UCI are not known for their strong actions in anti-doping. It was
the same in weightlifting a few years ago.
'All of a sudden when you get right
up against it things go fuzzy and they say, "Well, we can't punish
innocent athletes in these sports by dropping the sport from the
The bleak news mounted up for
Armstrong last night with Pound's former organisation, WADA, insisting
that the TV mea culpa will not result in his lifetime ban from sport
They told Armstrong that giving
evidence 'under oath' - rather than to America's talk show queen - was
the only conceivable way he could compete again in his favourite
post-cycling pursuit, triathlon.
Those sobering words arrived after Winfrey appeared on the CBS This Morning programme to talk up her exclusive interview.
She confirmed that the 41-year-old Texan finally admitted to cheating.
But hinting at an unexpected turn of events, Winfrey teased: 'He did not come clean in the manner I expected.'
Asked if Armstrong was contrite,
Winfrey said: 'I choose not to characterise. I would rather people make
their own decisions. I thought he was serious. I thought he certainly
prepared himself for this moment. He met the moment.'
After the interview, Winfrey confirmed that she personally took the
film away in her bag along with 'dog food' ahead of its
broadcast in Britain on the Discovery Channel at 2am on Friday morning,(3am Nigerian time)
with the second part the following day.
It is understood
that in a cynical attempt to rehabilitate himself, Armstrong has
contacted the US authorities to tell him he is willing to name other
It has also emerged that last month
he walked out of a meeting with US Anti-Doping Agency boss Travis Tygart
after failing to engineer a reduction in his ban.
The schmaltz, however, did not impress WADA's
director general David Howman, who said in a statement: 'Only when Mr
Armstrong makes a full confession under oath, and tells the anti-doping
authorities all he knows about doping activities, can any legal and
proper process for him to seek any reopening or reconsideration of his
lifetime ban commence.'
Armstrong is being assailed by
lawsuits - potentially including one from US Postal, his former team -
so we can be sure as ever the fallen star is calculating the cost of his